Albion midfielder says squad are feeling the burn
BAGGIES skipper Darren Fletcher admits the burning sensation in his legs brought on by intense pre-season training is completely alien to him.
The Baggies skipper, along with the rest of the squad, are currently in the middle of a lung-bursting, week-long training camp in Irdning, Austria.
The players have 5:30am wake-up calls, before completing three different sessions, including a cardiovascular session clambering up the Alps on either a bike or by foot, strength and conditioning exercises and a football session to end the challenging day.
Fletcher has only ever known a Manchester United pre-season where the training was a little less relentless.
But the Scotland international acknowledges the advantages of such a physically demanding schedule.
He said: “It’s obvious that pre-season is going to be really difficult.
“The first few days have been really tough.
“We are getting up really early and working extremely hard, so it has been quite hard.
“Running up the hills is a totally new one for me in pre-season.
“It is a totally different feeling in your legs, it is a real burn.
“No matter what speed you travel at your legs will burn because of the incline on the hill so it is all about trying to keep a steady pace and getting through it.”
Fletcher added: “You can really feel the build up in your legs, but the good thing is that once we build that base up we will all feel really strong.
“It’s always so important to get a good pre-season under your belt and the manager is a big believer in fitness and tells us that every player has the ability to get fitter.
“People had said this was going to be tough, but you can’t prepare for the unknown, but saying that it is just as hard as we were expecting it to be, if not harder.
“After a week when we have done several difficult sessions that’s when we will really feel it and we will have to dig deep to get through it.”